Chinese firms invested a total of $4.9 billion, up 32%, in 49 countries involved in Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road project in the first four months of this year, Xinhua reported.

Belt and Road, also known as the “New Silk Road,” aims to create an economic corridor that joins China with Central Asia and Europe in a 21st century reprise of the ancient caravan routes. It includes both an overland and maritime component.

The data was included as part of non-financial outbound direct investment (ODI) figures issued by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOC) on Monday.

ODI between January and April soared 71.8% year on year, hitting 391.5 billion yuan (about 60.1 billion US dollars), the MOC said. The ministry added that Chinese companies were contracted to build 2,133 overseas infrastructure projects worldwide in the period, up some 40%. ODI in the service sector also increased 73.2% to 43.8 billion US dollars.


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